Tweeting for Conservation

As of this moment, I have exactly 42 Twitter followers. I jumped on the Twitter train a little late, and I have found that more of my friends are on Instagram and Facebook versus the Twitter platform anyway. Compared to say, Kim Kardashian (39 million followers), or Anderson Cooper (6.89 million followers), or noted climate activist Al Gore (2.91 million followers), or even my little brother (229), my total seems pretty paltry. In an era obsessed with likes, favorites, shares, and retweets, someone may look at my small account and scoff, “What’s the point?”

Sure, I may not have many followers, but there is a very important point to my Twitter account: my ability to add my voice to a cause.

In previous posts, I have described the success of the #OptOutside hashtag initiated by REI, as well as the current #FindYourPark campaign from the National Park Service. I want now to convince those who may be hesitant to start and/or use Twitter to give it a go!

People have begun to use social media stats as indicators of general population attitudes as well as metrics of success. Politicians and other leaders pay attention to digital conversations, and advocates can use them as leverage in environmental discussions with policy leaders and other change-makers.

When I favorite or retweet “Scientists scale Alaskan cliffs to stop Gyrfalcons from losing more ground to #climatechange” from @AudubonSociety (the Twitter platform for the National Audubon Society), it’s true that only 42 of my followers will see it from me, but I am supporting Audubon and their message. I may not have any favorites on my retweet, but with  my addition they have over 55. Additionally, when I tag a photo with #FindYourPark or #OptOutside, I am lending my voice to calls for greater appreciation of the outdoors.

A single tweet, just like a single vote, a single letter to a member of congress, or a single town hall appearance, may not seem like much, but it all adds up. Thousands or even millions of tweets can spark a national conversation. Let’s capitalize on the potential for environmental advocacy everywhere!


  • I second what you’ve written in this post. Social media is becoming an increasingly important tool, and it can be a good platform for spreading conservation news. Even if someone (like myself) doesn’t have many followers, tweeting about what they support can be a powerful form of self-expression. Since doing is believing, that simple act may also increase their commitment to their cause.

    Also, even if only a few people see your conservation-related tweets, it might make a difference. If someone follows you there’s an above average chance that they consider you to be part of their in-group. If they see that you, as a member of their online circle, support conservation; it might make them more likely to follow suit. The more people tweet about conservation, the more potent this form of social persuasion becomes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *